Selective Photodynamic Effects on Breast Cancer Cells Provided by P123 Pluronic®- Based Nanoparticles Modulating Hypericin Delivery

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Author(s): Gabrielle Marconi Zago Ferreira Damke, Raquel Pantarotto Souza, Maiara Camotti Montanha, Edilson Damke, Renato Sonchini Gonçalves, Gabriel Batista Cesar, Elza Kimura, Wilker Caetano, Noboru Hioka, Marcia Edilaine Lopes Consolaro*.

Journal Name: Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents)

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Background: Breast cancer is the most relevant type of cancer and the second cause of cancer- related deaths among women in general. Currently, there is no effective treatment for breast cancer although advances in its initial diagnosis and treatment are available. Therefore, the value of novel anti-tumor therapeutic modalities remains an immediate unmet need in clinical practice. Following our previous work regarding the properties of the Pluronics with different photosensitizers (PS) for photodynamic therapy (PDT), in this study we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of supersaturated hypericin (HYP) encapsulated on Pluronic® P123 (HYP/P123) against breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and non-tumorigenic breast cells (MCF-10A). Methods: Cell internalization and subcellular distribution of HYP/P123 was confirmed by fluorescence microscopy. The phototoxicity and citototoxicity of HYP/P123 was assessed by trypan blue exclusion assay in the presence and absence of light. Long-term cytotoxicity was performed by clonogenic assay. Cell migration was determined by the wound-healing assay. Apoptosis and necrosis assays were performed by annexin V-FITC/propidium Iodide (PI) by fluorescence microscopy. Results: Our results showed that HYP/P123 micelles had high stability and high rates of binding to cells, which resulted in the selective internalization in MCF-7, indicating their potential to permeate the membrane of these cells. Moreover, HYP/P123 micelles accumulated in mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum organelles, resulting in the photodynamic cell death by necrosis. Additionally, HYP/P123 micelles showed effective and selective time- and dose dependent phototoxic effects on MCF-7 cells but little damage to MCF-10A cells. HYP/P123 micelles inhibited the generation of cellular colonies, indicating a possible capability to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. We also demonstrated that HYP/P123 micelles inhibit the migration of tumor cells, possibly by decreasing their ability to form metastases. Conclusion: Taken together, the results presented here indicate a potentially useful role of HYP/P123 micelles as a platform for HYP delivery to more specifically and effectively treat human breast cancers through photodynamic therapy, suggesting they are worthy for in vivo preclinical evaluations.

Keywords: selective photodynamic effect, breast cancer cells, hypericin; Pluronic® P123, micelles, nanoparticles.

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1871520618666181102091010
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